The park of the Cascine is the biggest park of Florence measuring 160 acres and running up to 3.5 kms along the river Arno. In 1563 this park was under the property of Alessandro and Cosimo I de’ Medici. It was used as a reserve for hunting and rearing of cattle for the royal family.
The name “Cascine” derives from the circle of the Fagus tree used to press the milk accumulated in the antic method of producing cheese. This huge park was always taken care of by the administrative departments prohibiting any sort of construction within the area.
Presently, the Cascine is generally frequented for relaxation and pass time. People have chosen this wide green space as a perfect spot for long jogs and keeping away from day to day stress as well as practicing other sport activity. In my first year experience I came here very often trying to join a game of soccer. Soccer is my favorite sport and Florence has never let me down in that. It was not difficult to find people friendly and kind enough to invite meto play with. An ideal spot even for sunbathing in the open and making a nice family get together. Something the children love, is to get some free time to run around in the open with their dog or possibly challenge their father to a one to one match.
You will be surprised to see that every Sunday a big group of communities from India, Albania or Nigeria for example get together and play. I have even experienced a proper 20-20 game of cricket. A terrific scene where one can witness the Italians trying to follow the game, expressing their confusion with all the funny hand gestures they make, while the Indians finally get time to have a blast with a sport they cannot forget and can still appreciate being far away from home.
Every Tuesday at the Cascine its shopping time!
From 07:00 in the morning till 1400 the market will be quite busy with people curiously gathering around to get a decent shirt for a pretty reasonable price.
These stalls already have discounted prices although I wouldn’t mind suggesting you to bargain further. Its always worth a try. There will be stalls put up all along the Via Lincoln street. If you are not interested in clothes there are a variety of other products as well. From fresh friuts and vegetables to electro-domestic utensils, shoes and many other objects of value.
Unfortunately by night the park is not advised for roaming about, since prostitution is quite frequent in those areas. For transport one can take the bus number 17 from the city center which takes you right to the park. Please do not take the bus to the opposite direction! To be sure where you are going don’t hesitate in asking the conductor. If you want to go by car or on foot, click on the link Cascine above which will take you directly to Google maps indicating you the right directions.